Python (KS3) Inset

If you're brand new to programming, or your programming experience was in another language in the distant past, this is the ideal starting point to give you a foundation in textual programming using Python.

Alan O'Donohoe

Through his work in the classroom, Alan has earned an excellent reputation within computer science education and has a wealth of experience in delivering courses which have been consistently graded by teachers and inspectors as "outstanding". trainer profile
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Teaching coding at KS3 is a challenge.  In the same class, you will have pupils who struggle to grasp the concepts at all together with those who are, frankly, already better programmers than you will ever be!  How will you cope?

The answer is to have a range of strategies to engage the least able and to motivate the high fliers.  That’s what this training is about.

The course builds your understanding of the concepts of programming: variables, sequences, loops etc and shows you how these play out in Python. You'll be guided step-by-step through some simple exercises using Idle, an interactive environment which enables you to give instructions to the computer and get immediate feedback. It's a great place to start for you and ultimately for your pupils.

The training will signpost the best sources of support for learning and teaching Python and will give you the confidence to progress. It's ideal preparation for our more advanced Python (KS4)* course and/or the Raspberry Pi courses, which both involve some Python coding.

In response to demand from teachers, we have created a mini scheme of work for teaching Python at KS3, which will be covered during the training giving you the ideal activity for your pupils with the option of entering the Turtle Prize!

PythonCourse covers

  • Programming concepts
  • Why choose Python
  • Getting set up with Python
  • Building confidence with Idle
  • Resources for you and your pupils
  • Timelapse photography and other cool projects

If you already have recent programming experience in a textual language (eg Java, Visual Basic, C++ etc - or Python, of course) and want to get stuck into the challenge of teaching Python at KS4, Python (KS4) would be a better bet.

What other teachers have said about the course

  • I came knowing very little about Python and now I feel like I know enough to teach some lessons and develop my knowledge further on my own. Incredibly helpful and a great trainer.

    Gemma Williams, Edwinstree Church of England Middle School
  • Very informative; clear objectives - great look at how to write programs from using pseudocode to the end result. I now know more Python than when I started. Love the reaction time game -…

    Paul Durham, The Deepings School
  • Very helpful, patient and knowledgeable. Excellent!

    Ben Ford, Nower Hill High School

Full Course Content

  • The fundamental principles of coding

We'll start with a few fun games to cover the main concepts of coding including sequences, loops, conditionals and variables. The games work well with children too!

  • A beginner's guide to Python

Using Idle, a free tool that makes it easy to get started with Python, we'll take a gentle tour of Python's main features, beginning with a comparison to Scratch. We'll use Python to cover sequences, loops, conditionals, variables and functions.

  • The Turtle library

A great library that comes with Python is the turtle library. This lets us experiment easily with graphics and cement our new skills at the same time. The turtle library is also a great way to get children started with Python.

  • Creative Python projects

We'll look at some ways of making coding cool, and take a brief look at embedded computing. We'll also have a demo of the Python-compatible Minecraft version available for the Raspberry Pi.

  • Swapping resources

A popular part of the workshop - we'll share resources you've found useful and other teachers have found beneficial.